The Washington Post

House Calls: An open floor plan challenge


After removing a partial wall in his 1910 farmhouse, Boyds resident George Phelps (pictured with wife Sarah) needs help creating a cozy, coordinated dining and living area in the new open floor plan. Seating for guests, a space for the television and more natural lighting are all musts.

George and Sarah Phelps living room and dining room. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designer Syntha Harris-Wendel uses blues, beiges and browns to unify the room while addressing seating needs with a new sofa and castered dining chairs for flexibility when entertaining.Harris-Wendel, of Storybook Rooms (301-365-6900, www.storybook, is based in Potomac.

The solution. (Illustration By Julius Goyanko For The Washington Post)

The dining chairs have casters hidden under decorative skirts. The chairs can be easily moved to accommodate guests.

New side tables can double as game tables for family gatherings.

An area rug distinguishes the living area from the dining space.

To brighten the room, replace the dark curtains with Roman shades, which filter light but provide privacy.

Paint the walls a light beige to complement the dark dining table. Try Benjamin Moore’s Barely Beige.


Furniture: Helena dining table ($362,; Kateri chinette ($1,540,; Angel sofa ($409) and Sierra coffee table ($405), both from; Rowe Hollins swivel chair in 30660-34 fabric ($890,

Accessories: Crewel pillow in Smoke Blue ($30 each,; Cecil rug in neutral ($399 for five-by-eight-foot rug) and Dawson game side table ($499), both from; sandy blue glass lamp ($60,; “Floral Glow”
60-inch-wide wall art
($438 for set of two) and “Floral Glow” 22-inch square wall art ($548 for set of four), both from; “Rain Drops” painting ($394,; Roman shades in Natural Espresso (prices vary by size,


Upholstered castered Parsons chair in Queens Velvet Spa ($379,

Vidalia framed mirror with silver-leaf finish and glass inlays ($653,

. . . OR SAVE

Custom rolled-back Parsons chair with skirt in Protege Haze ($179, www.home

Petite Hekman tall, slender wall mirror ($251, www.

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.
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